No-one who’s been criticising the former Labour leader is trying to suggest she’s Batman, and that Lothian is in danger of being seized by garish super-villains as a direct consequence of her absence. They’re surely just suggesting she might have, you know, a real job?
The big problem with Brown’s persuasive case against total independence is that no-one is actually arguing for total independence. To call this a straw-man argument is to give it far too much weight – a straw structure does at least take a few huffs and puffs to dismantle. This dishonest construction is more like a delicate sculpture made out of dandelion clocks by the fairies who live at the bottom of the garden.
It would be unfair to compare the UK Government to the serial killer in the Saw movies, but handing income-tax powers to the Scottish Parliament was a stroke of evil genius.
School discipline may have moved on from the dunce’s cap and the tawse, but that doesn’t mean punishments are always fair and never have an element of shaming. The arbitrary enforcement of rules is one of the hallmarks of coercive control.